A spectrum of opportunities: training field professionals on how to recruit and support individuals with autism at the workplace
Project Code: 2020-1-PL01-KA202-081445
Across Europe, there is a serious lack of education and training that could give people with autism the vocational, social and communication skills that are required for employment. People with autism have the right to employment in inclusive settings and the right to reasonable accommodation and support to enable them to work effectively.
IO1: VET Trainer Curriculum
IO1 is an innovative Curriculum created with the guidance of curriculum design experts. It includes the information needed to increase the skills and competencies of VET trainers so that they educate employers and managers on how to recognize and support individuals with ASD in the workplace. The need analyses of the curriculum content were conducted by all partners. This has been done by conducting interviews with focus groups (i.e., 5 individuals per partner – particularly 2 VET trainers & 3 employers/managers). Based on the results of those focus groups, the content of the curriculum was divided into 6 main modules.
IO2: VET Trainer Handbook
The purpose of the VET trainer handbook is to assist VET trainers’ practical application of the curriculum. It helps VET trainers to put theory into practice. It provides step-by-step guidance enabling the process of planning, organizing and delivering of an effective training course. Specifically, the handbook involves the following parts:, theoretical introduction for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), adult learning approaches (e.g., 5E model) to promote the delivery of effective training by VET trainers, training methodologies, planned activities for each module, competence assessment, and recommended readings for trainers.
IO3: Practical guide
The aim of this guide is to provide tips and strategies for employers and managers so that they can support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during the recruitment process and throughout their employment period. Its content is based on the materials produced by the VET trainer curriculum (IO1) and VET Trainer Handbook (IO2). It involves a questions and answers section for each module. Employers/managers/HRs can use this practical guide to train and equip themselves to employ people with autism and adapt their jobs accordingly.
The e-learning platform includes a summary of the outputs created, mainly descriptions of courses, modules’ curriculum, activities, quizzes, and frequently asked questions. It summarizes outputs with a comprehensive approach and aims to provide courses so that distant learners (e.g., employers / managers / HRs) can also access the outputs.
C1: Train the Trainers' Workshop
In the framework of the Opportunities4Autism project, training for VET trainers of the target countries took place in Palermo following the development of the 3 intellectual outputs (i.e., VET trainer curriculum, VET trainer manual, and practical guide for employers and managers). The creation of intellectual outputs helped to establish a training package that will enable to train VET trainers to develop their key competencies, professional and training skills, and abilities needed to foster the employability of individuals with autism. During a 5-days training workshop, intellectual outputs and their applicability for target groups were presented to VET trainers. They were trained on how to use those intellectual outputs in a practical manner. Importantly, VET trainers provided feedback on the quality of content so that project partners did the necessary modifications and improvements. At the end of this training, VET trainers were ready to train HR professionals, employers, and managers.